Cover image for Telecoms in the Internet age : from boom to bust to...?
Telecoms in the Internet age : from boom to bust to...?
Fransman, Martin.
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Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xviii, 290 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


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HE7631 .F736 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The telecoms industry is one of the most important in the global economy. Without it the Internet and Information Society would not exist. But how does it work? How has it been changed by the Internet? Why was $2,500 billion wiped off its stock market value in 2000/1? How have its incumbentoperators (such as ATandT, BT, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, and NTT) and their aggressive rivals (for example WorldCom, Qwest, and COLT) adjusted to the radical changes sweeping the industry? Why has Japan succeeded but Europe failed in creating the latest incarnation of the industry, themobile Internet? These are some of the key questions analysed. The book begins with an explanation of the telecoms boom and bust, 1996-2002. It tackes the questions regarding who was to blame and why, and also examines the consequences of the bust. An analytical framework is created to understand the main forces driving the telecoms industry as it istransformed by the Internet into the infocommunications industry. It is shown that knowledge in its various manifestations and changes in knowledge are responsible for the key changes that have taken place. The foundation of the infocommunications industry comprises a combination of specialist technology suppliers (such as Cisco, Nokia, NEC, and Nortel) and network operators. Their changing relationship lies at the heart of the forces driving the industry. The author looks at how these changes haveaffected the struggles of the incumbent network operators and their new entrant rivals. He also analyses some of the main new entrpreneurs in the industry, looking at why they managed to enter so successfully, what has become of them, and why. The continuing changes in the knowledge base of theindustry are examined, as are some of the latest developments in the mobile Internet. Finally, the future of the industry is confronted. The book is complemented by the interactive web site:

Author Notes

Martin Fransman is currently Professor of Economics at Edinburgh University. He graduated from Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg where he also obtained a Masters degree in economics with distinction. He has taught economics at the University of the Witwatersrand, the University ofSwaziland, and at Queen Mary College, London University. In 1988 he founded and was appointed Director of the Institute for Japanese-European Technology Studies (JETS) at Edinburgh University. His previous books include Visions of Innovation, Japan's Computer and Communications Industry, The Marketand Beyond (winner of the Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize), and Technology and Economic Development.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This volume traces the evolution of the telecommunications (telephone) industry into the "infocommunications" industry, from the late 1980s until early 2001. Emphasis falls on the adaptive (and different) strategies pursued by the incumbents (AT&T, British Telecom, NTT in Japan, France Telecom, and Deutsche Telekom) and on the competitive pressures introduced by the entrants (primarily Global Crossing, GTS, Level 3, Qwest, WorldCom, and COLT in London). The well-known stock market boom (1996 to March 2000) and bust (March 2000-02) embodies the financial markets' reaction to this Schumpeterian "creative destruction." Fransman (economics, Edinburgh Univ.) eschews modeling in favor of "institutional evolutionary economics," an approach fully appropriate to the changes in this industry. The time period precludes consideration of policy changes (antitrust, deregulation, and the breakup of AT&T in January 1984). Also, the tale stops before the accounting scandals of late 2001 became known (Global Crossing, WorldCom) and before WorldCom became the largest bankruptcy in US history. The potential of cable TV is ignored. The author's emphasis clearly is on management choices (including mistakes) in a gale of technical change. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates and graduate students, faculty, and researchers. R. A. Miller Wesleyan University

Table of Contents

1 Explaining the Telecoms Boom and Bust of 1996-2002
2 Evolution of the Telecommunications Industry in the Internet Age
3 AT&T, BT, and NTT: Super-Adaptors or Dinosaurs in an Age of Climate Change?
4 Deutsche Telekom: Europe's Giant Struggling to Globalize
5 France Telecom: France's Europeanizing Incumbent
6 The New Entrepreneurs in the Telecoms Industry
7 COLT: An American Telecoms Operator in Europe
8 The Changing Knowledge Base: Co-evolving R&D in Telecoms Network Operators
9 Mobile Internet: Explaining Japanese Success and European Failure